10 things retail workers notice when you first walk into a store

Business Insider | May 16, 2019, 12.11AM IST

shoplifting shoplifter stealing thief


"We usually know who our thieves are," a Target employee told Business Insider.

  • Observant retail employees know how to identify potential shoplifters.
  • Most stores have policies barring employees from directly confronting suspected thieves, but that doesn't mean that workers won't notice certain red flags.
  • From clothing choices to a lack of eye contact, here's what employees said they immediately notice about customers.

Retail employees know that there's no one type of shoplifter.

One Target employee told Business Insider that their store has been targeted by everyone from "drug users to moms who are bored."

"In some cases parents have used their children to help them," the employee said. "It's so sad."

Still, when it comes to sizing up potential shoplifters, retail employees tend to notice a few things about customers from the second they walk into the store.

Read more: Walmart employees share the wildest returns they've ever seen

Most retailers employ loss-prevention officers to deal with theft, and other employees are typically barred from confronting suspected thieves.

But that doesn't mean that these employees don't keep an eye out for certain behaviors. Business Insider spoke to a number of retail employees about what tends to immediately raise their suspicions when it comes to customers:

Here's what they had to say:

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